The wonders of representative government continue to surprise its observers for what it teaches us about ourselves. A President might radically alter democracy through social and fiscal policies, but the official public engagement of POTUS45 has an awkwardness about it. It takes a long time for a President and a political party to have an immediate impact. By any measure of it, a different party and President is in power when the effect occurs.
Imagine your short-term view as if you were suddenly compelled to fight, take on a role in the Army, the Corps, Navy, Air Force, CIA, or FBI and choose technology. You are asked to protect the United States from harm by a foreign or domestic enemy. In this short-term, your daily choices are often forced to occur, but when they happen in response to a hallucination, what then?
My father’s experience with the impacts of action taking (long and short term) drew on his WWII experience. After a few months of news and just after his 25th birthday and then in just moments, he and all of his brothers stepped willingly into the machine of WWII. The long gash on his right leg included my perception of it as an event, not present. It gave me a very different view of the world. It was more than a wound; it was the obscurity of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. It remains from a time just before I was born to now. Scars of war became a thing unworthy of anyone’s pain or death. More critical problems need solutions. The delusions of war are nothing more than the theft of perception.
In the 1970s, growing economic hardship began to hit small-town rural America, and industrial cities began to shrink. Both were mainly in response to globalization. The number of participants in the armed forces grew for the lack of economic alternatives. These forces are further strengthened by the traditions of armed service families who aim at the sights of their children on the nation’s officer training colleges. Are they Patriots of delusions? No, the act of living is separate from the duty to serve. The rise of the conservative view has become a scream at the national debt with a voice that demands deep cuts in social spending but not the mystery of its security. Armed forces come from the well of hunger and inconspicuous despair. These are the most powerful of all. We are aware of these forces, yet we do not care, as these facts are not expected to change. Putting it this way, the odds set on the call for a political revolution are one in a hundred.
From war to nation-wide drought, global forces slide into and out of community consciousness as thin-slices of self-awareness. We might share a sense of place that snips at our conscience and integrity, and so we can effortlessly forget that all of our understanding of ourselves and the world is a creation of the cells in our brain. You may think that is an odd idea. You know why you have a slightly elevated sense of dread about the nation’s political condition yet feel compelled to say ‘thank you for your service’ with a rising level of disdain for the leadership style that sweeps up the small-town young of the nation after each cycle of war. You have the correct feeling.
Our consciousness is all we have to establish ourselves in the world. Without this unique awareness of living, we have nothing. While we do not know if other creatures have a similar sense of personness, like them, we live in a scientifically proven set of hallucinations made of manipulations that we produce for ourselves. Therefore, be warned, your experience is a magic trick performed by the hand (or mechanism), not watched or unseen, and in most cases, even if it is seen very clearly. It happens daily, but we decide not to call attention to ourselves or others.
The five senses give “self” a position in space. As properties of consciousness, this space is composed in the proximity of sight, smell, touch, taste, or sound. However, our bundles of experience are held in the cells of the brain that can only make a “best guess” about what is out there. All experiments prove how the cells of the brain fill in essential data or respond to a stimulus built solely on these sets of interpretations established by experience. Perception is an active re-construction process for controlling what we see and hear, smell, touch, or taste. A useful way to explore the idea of reality, perhaps the best way in these times, is to see what you see as a set of controlled hallucinations, always considered correct because your experience with other people’s perceptions is similar. If it is experienced as consistently incorrect, it means you are not controlling the hallucination. It is that basic.
Now, regarding our collective experience with Donald J. Trump. He is the President of the United States, and instincts and experience teach us to hope for the best and expect the worst. These emotions are one of many uncontrolled perceptions with which we construct reality. Cognitive scientists can prove that we firmly believe that we know “who we are,” and yet this experience only exists because we have a body, and that includes the “body politic.”
Our sense of the future builds on experience, the ability to like or dislike, or share ideas through speech and hear and see others. We form new social worlds that fit somewhere in a full-blown media society. With this “fit,” there is only distrust and with that, war. These combinations establish the expectation of a unified self, but just as this narrative experiment with a hallucination is proof that it occurs and all you have is a “best guess” from a color to a President, what is or is not your body? I know what that sounds like, but another way to see its meaning is to understand how and why you predict yourself into existence. You do this with all the people around you, and that includes the leaders you choose. Representative government is how a nation continuously predicts itself into existence. The wrong and most likely question is what kind of life? The right one asks what is genuinely wanted and needed. That is how we keep the democracy.